Senior Israeli defense officials say country braces for possible armed conflict with regional Iranian rival and proxies
JERUSALEM – Senior Israeli defense officials say the country is bracing for the possibility of armed conflict with its regional rival Iran and its proxies.
The IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said on Tuesday that the IDF was “accelerating operational plans and preparation to deal with Iran and the nuclear military threat.” .
Israel views Iran as an existential threat and has warned that it will act with military force if necessary to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that “if a terrorist regime wants to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act”.
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran is set to resume nuclear negotiations with world powers this month, following the collapse of the 2015 deal to curb its nuclear program following the United States’ withdrawal from the deal in 2018.
Addressing lawmakers at a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Kohavi said the military “has continued to act against our enemies in covert operations and missions around the Middle East. Orient ”over the past year.
His remarks came following a series of reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Israel has staged hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in neighboring Syria over the past decade, but rarely acknowledges its operations. He said Iran’s presence near its northern border was a red line and targeted arms deliveries to Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iran-linked facilities in Syria.
Speaking during a visit to a defense industry factory in the northern town of Shlomi, near the Lebanese border, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel “was working all the time. time to prevent war – by conducting operations, conveying messages, preventing (a) hoarding. “
In the event of war, he declared, “we will be ready to carry out operations which have not been seen in the past, with means which were not in our hands in the past, which will harm the heart. of terror and to its capabilities. . “